This week in the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup you will find some truly fascinating and exciting developments in the quest to make motorsport more sustainable. From the awesome biofuel Prodrive Hunter to Michelin and Goodyear’s work on sustainable racing tires, work continues apace in all sectors of motorsport. Whether it be electric motocross, software used for more sustainable motorsport, or using electric construction vehicles trackside, progress is being made to ensure that the sport we all love will continue to make a positive impact on its fans, participants, and society as a whole. Onward!
Sustainable Motorsport News
- Siemens Digital Industries Software announced today that the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body of world motor sport and the federation of the world’s leading motoring organizations, has selected Siemens as “Official Sustainability PLM Software Supplier” and has adopted solutions from the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio to collaborate with F1 Teams and to support FIA and its championships including F1 in sustainability efforts. The FIA will begin implementing the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio to enable the design of vehicles and regulations that reduce energy consumption and emissions. Through this collaboration, Siemens will support the FIA in achieving its sustainability goals through innovative thinking, pioneering approaches in motor sport and new technological advances that could be impactful across the automotive industry.
- “Motorsport and sustainability sound like a contradiction. But it can be done using the right technologies. If motorsport achieves carbon neutrality, any industry can. With this collaboration, we plan to influence public perceptions and promote sustainable mobility. We are delighted to be selected as an official supplier to help the FIA meet its sustainability goals,” said Cedrik Neike, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG and CEO Digital Industries.
- I had mentioned this in a previous edition of the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup but now Blackbook Motorsport has made the content more accessible. In The Path to Net Zero, Shell outlines how it channels its future plans through motorsport. “Its reach into multiple spheres of motorsport places Shell in the best position to realise its future ambitions: most notably, the path to decarbonisation. This can be achieved in two ways, displaying its technical expertise through its partnerships, or through raising greater awareness through its initiatives.”
- McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown spoke to Driving on sustainable racing, tech transfer, and his car collection. “The automotive industry is going electric, but (in racing) we’re now working with biofuels, renewable fuels. People are talking about hydrogen. You’ve got hybrids. I don’t think anyone knows, so I’m not going to claim I know, but I’m not convinced there’s going to be a single solution. What motorsports has always been great at is developing emerging technologies. I think motorsports will continue to evolve and will become sustainable. But what it looks like in 10, 15 years, I think it’s too hard to call.”
- Building sustainable racing: The legacy between Environmental sustainability and Motorsport is from 2021 but it gives an excellent overview of “misconceptions and initiatives of motorsport stakeholders in their journey towards environmental sustainability.”
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
- GCK Motorsport and Guerlain Chicherit will be fielding a Prodrive Hunter at the Dakar for the next two years. The nub of the ambitious program is a high-potential biofuel vehicle which should help the French outfit clock up the experience they need to achieve their ultimate aim of winning the grueling race with a hydrogen-powered car. GCK Motorsport and Guerlain Chicherit have teamed with Prodrive to race the Hunter 4WD T1+ in the 2022 Rallye du Maroc (1-6 October), the next two Dakar rallies and the full season of the 2023 World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC). Frenchmen Guerlain Chicherit and co-driver Alex Winocq begin their new adventure in a vehicle identical to the one that earned second place for Sébastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin at this year’s Dakar. In line with his stance on ecology, Chicherit’s V6 turbocharged 4WD machine will run on Prodrive EcoPower sustainable fuel, made from agricultural waste, which emits 80% less greenhouse gas than regular petrol.
- In previous Sustainable Motorsport Roundups I have given you news on Bridgestone’s sustainable race tires developed from guayule natural rubber, but they are not the only tire manufacturers looking to make their tires as sustainable as possible. Michelin are one such brand. For the first time, a Michelin tire containing 53% sustainable materials, fitted to the H24 GreenGT hydrogen racing car took to the track outside the twenty-four race in La Sarthe, within the framework of a Road To Le Mans (Michelin Le Mans Cup) trial session. According to Michelin, this demo “demonstrates the Group’s ability to keep to the road map it has laid out for itself in order to achieve 100% sustainable materials on all its tires by 2050, with an aim of 40% sustainable materials at Group level by 2030; and all this while maintaining a very high performance level, without degrading the environmental impact of tires throughout their life cycles.”
- Not to be outdone, Goodyear, the FIA and ETRA have joined forces towards a more sustainable racing future. “Goodyear Truck Racing Tires are produced by using renewable electricity sources like hydro, wind, solar or geothermic biomass power. On a wider scale, Goodyear has adopted a number of company-wide initiatives both globally and specific to the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region. Its overriding target is to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. All Goodyear plants across Europe and Turkey already use 100 percent renewable energy, and this milestone will be reached by all facilities across the total EMEA region by the end of 2022. The company adopted a zero waste to landfill policy in 2006. On the operations side, three-quarters of fleets identified carbon footprint reduction as an important issue in last year’s Goodyear Sustainable Reality Survey. Four out of five surveyed large fleets stated they will have sustainability KPIs in place by autumn this year. It is therefore clear that environmental concerns are key to the future of the industry.”
- Williams Advanced Engineering has debuted their 248-MPH turnkey ultra-high performance EVR platform. “Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) today debuts its latest electric vehicle innovation: an ultra-high performance electric vehicle platform designed to accelerate the ambitions of hypercar manufacturers, from start-ups to OEMs.”
- Rallycross legend Kenneth Hansen says the FIA world championship’s new electric cars can be the fastest ever, but still have “more potential” to extract. “Hansen Sr told Autosport he was “very positive” about the championship’s electric revamp, but believes the cars have the potential to “be quite [a lot] faster than we are” with more mileage to optimise mapping and some software improvements.”
- The FIA World RX electric era has also partnered with Volvo Construction Equipment as its Official Track Building Partner. Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) is adding power to the action as Official Track Building Partner with its mix of electric and innovative construction solutions. Bill Law, Head of Brand, Marketing and Communications at Volvo CE, says: “The transformation to electrification is a thrilling and vital turning point for motorsport and one we are honored to play a part in bringing to the global stage. We ourselves are no strangers to change and have been leading the way with electric machines that drive our own industry forward and push the boundaries for high-performing sustainable construction solutions.”
- Green Racing News reports that the all-electric FIM E-Xplorer World Cup motocross series is closer to its debut as it has recently conducted its first tests. “The series will be the first 100% electric off-road motorcycle category, which built its own test track and conducted, for the first time, a test session to obtain as much information as possible, interpret it and align details in view of the official debut scheduled for 2023.”
- The Race explains what happened at last week’s manufacturers’ secret Gen3 Formula E test. “Several manufacturers have encountered problems in private testing over recent weeks. These curtailed or compromised their tests and The Race understands that it was a specific issue relating to the pouch cells within the spec rechargeable energy storage system (RESS) provided by Williams Advanced Engineering.” Green Racing News meanwhile reports on the major driver changes coming to Formula E for 2023.
Every Little Bit Counts
Every Little Bit Counts looks at small steps that you can take to decrease your environmental impact and increase your sustainability.
- If you are looking to make both a difference and a statement while ensuring your team and yourself look sharp on and off the track, you should check out Sustainably Fashionable, a UK-based provider of bespoke sustainable apparel and accessories. “We offer a collection of carefully curated pieces, made to the highest European standards, using our traceable, sustainable sources. These are finished with branding applications and detailing.”
- Here are two more easy steps to take off-track that don’t require a major change in lifestyle or expense:
The Big Picture
In The Big Picture, I look beyond motorsport to see what other sports are doing in their sustainability journey as well as the issue of sustainability generally. Hopefully this will act as a catalyst for change in the motorsport ecosystem as it demonstrates that in many ways, all sport shares some commonalities that can be tackled with achievable, measurable sustainability practices.
- Penn State’s sustainability efforts in Beaver Stadium suites lauded
- Ethereum Completes Long-Awaited Energy-Saving ‘Merge’ Upgrade
- The Merge to Erase 60,000 Tonnes of Polygon’s Carbon Footprint
- Ethereum’s Merge Could Bring a ‘Billion Users’ to Web3, Polygon Co-Founder Says
- Climate groups to bitcoin: Cut the pollution, and the B.S.
- Concrete is more polluting than flying. Here are 4 innovative ways to clean it up
Getting to the Track Sustainably
Getting to the Track Sustainably is my occasional column on developments in sustainable transportation that could have some application to motorsport. Since the majority of carbon emissions come from logistics and transportation, this topic is of utmost importance as motorsport works to make itself more sustainable. Here are some articles you may find of interest.
- Heart Aerospace unveils new airplane design, confirms Air Canada and Saab as new shareholders
- Inside Sweden’s electric flight school
- Korean Air takes off with SAF from Paris to Seoul
- British Airways and Phillips 66 sign SAF agreement
- Airbus Just Flew an A380 Superjumbo Jet Using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel
- Air Liquide, Toyota partner to offer hydrogen-powered shuttles for Paris art festival
- Harbinger To Unveil Innovative Platform For Electric Medium-Duty Trucks At Detroit Auto Show